Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

The Next Big Thing


Last week I was asked by the wonderfully talented Illustrator Cate James to be her author to pass the baton on to for The Next Big Thing. Basically every week an author will blog there answers to the questions below, and the following week the authors they have asked will do the same- a blogging chain! Spreading the word about some fantastic authors who will also hopefully have some insightful questions and answers for you all to peruse.  Here are mine...

What is the working title of your next book?
One of my working titles is, Patrick And The Fairy Fly. I think its quite nice to have the name/ names of your character in the title, a bit like we know them already before even opening the book. I should of cause tell you that Patrick is a Pig- the lead roll in this tale.

Where did the idea come from?
At the time I came up with Patrick I was boosting up by portfolio with animals, and had lots of scribblings at the back of my sketch book of all sorts and it made me think how a Pig is quite an unlikely lead character, and maybe how he would prefer to be like the other animals on my page. And that really was the starting pint of my narrative.

What genre does your book fall under?
Picture Books. I'm primarily an illustrator but when you spend so much of your time drawing characters and such its automatic to think of them having certain personalities and acting in certain ways- and narrative can really sprout from that.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
As I do write for picture books, this is rather less relevant. But if I think of it more along the lines of being narrated by or in the cases of Oliver Jeffer's Lost and Found or Julia Donaldson's/ Axel Schleffers The Gruffalo, which were both picture books adapted for animation, I think some one like Michael Rosen would be perfect, or maybe even David Mitchell when he's doing a less shouty voice.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
More of a loose moral - A pig who learnt the understanding of accepting and loving his individualities.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
It is really early days, with my story being at the very early idea stages. There are some great publishers I have already worked with (including the lovely Oxford University Press) and still would like to work with. We will see.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
Maybe a day or two to get the general gist of the story from start to end, but this was mostly sentances here and there, as I like to draw thumbs while I write, rather the whole text in one go.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I'm sure comparisons can be made, just can't seem to think at this moment, but it definitely has a strong sense of the proverb " the grass is always greener on the other side..." which derives from a fable - I think the donkey and the gardner ( I maybe of course be wrong, so do correct me) where the donkey complains about his current working situation and asks to be moved to somewhere else where again he finds another problem, and again...when he regrets his first decision to leave because he had is best of all in his first place and didn't realise what he had.




Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I think by first book Chickens Can't See In the Dark worked well, in that it illustrated to children that being strong willed and different where positive attributes to have. Pippa the chicken in this story has no problems in being different and it is her personality that lead her to achieve her dream. But in this case we have a very uncertain character. Patrick is not so sure about what he is and is unsatisfied with his life as a pig - he wants something different, especially when he is given the opportunity to change it all. I think my first book did inspire me- in the way I have been looking at the idea of being different from different perspectives.

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
Well I do hope it is also the pictures as well as the story. It seems as if the plot from what snippets I have given you here, that it is all very serious. But really I hope its going to be quite a funny story with all the situations Patrick gets himself in to.

I shall let you all know soon the authors I shall pass this on to... but they will be great!







Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Reindeer



This reindeers nose appears to be glowing very bright indeed. I think he senses something very exciting is about to happen. Could it be that its getting closer and closer to the release of Angels Great Escape, where he will proudly make his Christmas App debut. Its very possible....
Totally couldn't resist making this :)

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Angel's Great Escape

 Hi everybody! I have some very exciting news for you all. For those who follow me on either twitter or Facebook you may have been aware that a few months back now I was working on a very very exciting project with brand spanking new and fabulous children's App maker, And So we Begin, on a lovely rhyming story app called Angels Great Escape. As you can see Angel (our brave lead character) can not wait to tell you more...

 (GIF by Kristyna litten not And So We Begin- you'll just have to wait for the real stuff)

... but sadly both our lips are sealed. All we can say is that it is going to Fab- with a capital F. But if you  would like to keep up to date with all the latest news on this App do head over to And So We Begins Facebook page and 'Like' them or follow all their shenanigans on twitter... So off you go. And I shall do my best to keep you posted to.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Tortoise loves tea



Terry the tortoise loved to drink tea,
back and forth he rocked freely.

Each time he rocked he sipped from the cup,
and each time he did he made a sip sup.

Sip Sup, Sip Sup, until that cup was empty,
He aught to have a bigger mug, so that he would have plenty.

Monday, 15 October 2012

AOI Images 36 Exhibition and launch

Just under two weeks ago now I attended the AOI images book launch and award ceremony where I collected the silver award for Children's Books.



The Project that also features in this years Images Annual was a limited edition book by Boden, called Returning Spring.


 Here I am just having picked up my certificate and Pantone Colour Swatch! ( which now takes pride of place next to my Wacom) celebrating with a nice glass of frizzante, thats sparkly water for you less bilingual folks.


Here are the rest of the winners, including fellow Arena-ite Steve May slap-bang in the middle and proud winner of Gold in the New Media category. Also the lovely Lauren Gentry to my left in the lovely green dress, and Stephen Collins (gold for editorial). Other winners who dadly I did not get the chance to speak to include Rod Hunt, Ruth Hydes, Steve Simpson, Andy Smith, Jonathan Burton, Brian Grimwood, Richard Johnson who won gold in my catergory and Adam Graff who won bronze, Lizzie Cullen, Barry Croucher, Andy Smith, Stuart Mcreath, Daniel Pudles, Olaf Hajak, Nicola Robinson, louise Weir, Emma Haines, and Artemis Evlogimenou





The celebration  or " the Oscars of Illustration." (Valerie Pezeron) looked a bit like this:


(but sadly there was no cake) However there was breads, continental meats, cheeses and caper berries. yum yum. Not forgetting Wine, and lots of smiling faces

If you would like to see the whole exhibition it will be around until the 23rd of October 2012 at Somerset House, London. But then shall tour. To see where else you can catch the exhibition have a look here for venue updates.








Monday, 8 October 2012

Here's Dotty!


SO... i've been very busy working on some very exciting projects, including my second book for Oxford university press. So before then I thought I'd post this little character called Dotty in the time being. Soon to come her best friend Alpha.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Teapots




A teapot pattern I did a few days ago which I thought might make for a nice tea set! let me hear your thoughts.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Book Covers/ Mr McCool


A few months ago I was working for a couple of book covers for Egmont. Above is a cover I reworked and a few chapter heads for Angel Creek, which is a thrilling story by Australian Author Sally Rippin.
And this is some development work for Mr McCool, a story about a cockney bear who wanted to escape from the zoo. There are some real fab characters in this book, and it just came out earlier this week. It is by award winning author Jonathan Tulloch and is available here or for kindle here,where you can see my final cover illustration. You can see a samples of my book covers on my website.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Patrick the fly



And here I am with more crafty treats. The product of getting excited about finding some scrap material, masses of sequins I had forgotten about and my dads cord trousers (which he still hasn't realised- so hush hush). So here is patrick the fly, who's fabulously jazzy wings you can't see in this photo. Below some friends made from the leftovers.

Ceramicins


Hi, just wanted to post these. I was pretty quiet about it, but earlier this year I took a very short ceramics course, where I made various bits and bobs. I briefly did ceramics in my foundation year at art college, and loved it, so I thought it be a great medium to have a play with once again. The far left image is what I made 5 years ago, testing out building and printing techniques and the other two are this years creations. I shall post more soon, as I am yet to pick stuff up. Enjoy!

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Storycloud



I'm a little bit late on letting you all know but I'm glad to say I was lucky enough to be involved in a project called Storycloud as part of the Cultural Olympiad. All the information is below. Or you can read more about this fab event here 
Press Release
26 APRIL 2012 

UK’s top children’s authors take part in London 2012 Festival
Discover Children’s Story Centre

Discover Children’s Story Centre the UK’s first children’s museum dedicated to stories has commissioned the leading lights in children’s literature to write twelve original stories for a new digital web application StoryCloud. This free nationwide digital project will reach thousands of children aged 5-8 and their families in their homes, schools and libraries throughout the twelve weeks of London 2012 Festival and beyond. The twelve brand new stories/poems are written by much-loved children's authors/poets including Michael Rosen, Malorie Blackman, David Almond, Philip Ardagh, Jamilla Gavin and Andy Stanton and four from east London children. 


Each author/child has recorded their brand new story for StoryCloud and twelve top illustrators have then been commissioned to create digital pictures in response to the stories; including Guy Parker-Rees, Chris Riddell, David Roberts and Sarah McIntyre. Children will be able to listen and read along with the author/child telling the story and then play with the illustrations to discover hidden secrets and surprises. Each story will have tasks to encourage children to create their own stories and drawings in response to the twelve stories. These can then be sent to Discover and a selection will be displayed on an on-line gallery throughout the summer.

Each Monday from the 18 June - 3 September during London Festival 2012, a new story will be released creating a magical on-line library for families throughout the UK.    

Poet, author and former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen one of StoryCloud’s contributors said ‘StoryCloud is a fantastic project because it puts stories right where children and their parents and carers can find them really easily. Stories tell us about how people might behave or could behave when faced with dangerous, odd, surprising, scary, funny things. They amuse as they tell us wise things. How good it is to see this project as part of the Cultural Olympiad, bringing children and families together with stories. Love it!’

Discover’s Chief Executive Sally Goldsworthy said ‘Based in Stratford, east London we have watched the Olympic site grow around us, StoryCloud is a brilliant opportunity for children and families throughout the UK to share the magic of stories through a new digital platform.’

StoryCloud (www.storycloud.co.uk) is being created with innovative digital publisher WingedChariot. It will be launched on Monday 18 June by Children’s Laureate Julia Donaldson. There will be workshops bringing the project to life in venues around the country including Westfield Stratford City, Westfield London, Westfield Derby and Westfield Merry Hill.

StoryCloud has been commissioned by London 2012 Festival, Westfield and Arts Council England. 

StoryCloud Authors and Illustrators 

18 June - The Talent Show by Michael Rosen and illustrated by Kristyna Litten
25 June - Down on the Beach by Andy Stanton and illustrated by Adam Stower
2 July - Strange Things Happen by Malorie Blackman and illustrated by Chris Riddell
9 July - Jimmy McArdle’s Stones by David Almond and illustrated by David Roberts 
16 July - Down the Plughole by Philip Ardagh and illustrated by Sarah McIntyre
23 July - Ali’s Trousers by Azzad Benkerroum Zaim and illustrated by Carl Pearce
30 July - The Tree at the End of the World by Debi Gliori and illustrated by Guy Parker-Rees 
6 August - The Zebra and Cheetah by Semilore Joseph and illustrated by David Melling
13 August - The Hoopoe Bird by Emma King and illustrated by Ross Collins
20 August - The Boy Who Lived on a Pancake by Candy Courlay and illustrated by Deborah Allwright
27 August - The Magic Carpet by Zeynab Abokor and illustrated by Elissa Elwick
3 September – The Day Before by Jamila Gavin and illustrated by Lee Wildish 

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Fashion doodles





Drawing dresses and clothes is a bit of a past time for me, I used to spend hours doing so when I was little. Here are a few sketches I did the other night.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Weather



Its been a while since I last posted anything, but I'm glad to say the reason for that is that I'm pretty busy working on some exciting new stuff, which I can't yet share with you lovely people. But here are some samples that I feel are appropriate to this erratic weather we have all been experiencing over this last month. To see more of these have a look here




Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Bologna Book Fair 2012


-click to enlarge-

In the spirit of the Bologna children's Book Fair, here is the poster I did for my lovely agents over at Arena. Wish I was there soaking up the inspiration and eating pizza and ice-cream.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Bird Vase


So its been ages since my last post, but I'm glad to say I've been pretty busy and shall post some cool stuff soon. but in the mean time here is a pretty vase with a bird on it.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Love Bug


Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Forward



Betty was a Bee, she was yellow and black all over.
She would fly with all the other bees, high above the clover.

But there's one thing Betty couldn’t do, as hard as she would try.
This was important for a bee, to buzz when in the sky.

So when Betty flew and flapped her wings really really fast,
all the other bees flapped as much and seemed fly right past.



Friday, 27 January 2012

Give us a twirl


Something a little more grown up for this weeks illustration friday!